Delve Into dark his­tory of the Salem witch tri­als In Back Al­ley Prod­uct Ions' "The Cru­cible" In LaFayette. STARTS FRI­DAY

Back Al­ley Pro­duc­tions presents ‘The Cru­cible’

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Back Al­ley Pro­duc­tions will open Arthur Miller’s legacy drama, “The Cru­cible,” on Fri­day, Nov. 10, with five per­for­mances at the Mars The­atre in LaFayette, Ga., through Sun­day, Nov. 18.

“The Cru­cible” is set dur­ing the Salem witch tri­als, a dark pe­riod in Amer­i­can his­tory when or­di­nary cit­i­zens were tor­tured and even killed for be­ing ac­cused of witchcraft. Miller used the guilty-un­til-proven-in­no­cent men­tal­ity of Salem as an ex­am­i­na­tion of his own ex­pe­ri­ences with the McCarthy hear­ings dur­ing the 1950s. In was then that sev­eral prom­i­nent Amer­i­cans, in­clud­ing Miller, were ac­cused of na­tional trea­son and linked to Soviet com­mu­nism, with lit­tle or no ev­i­dence.

This pro­duc­tion will forgo tra­di­tional 17th- cen­tury Salem for the 1950s’ look and feel that Miller was fa­mil­iar with, all in or­der to bring the metaphor of the Red Scare to the fore­front, while draw­ing com­par­isons to our mod­ern world.

“’The Cru­cible’ is such a pow­er­ful show and I’m glad to have such a tal­ented cast to put it on,” says Joseph Henry Watts, who is mak­ing his di­rec­to­rial de­but with Back Al­ley Pro­duc­tions.

“Arthur Miller has al­ways been my fa­vorite play­wright and ‘ The Cru­cible’ has al­ways been a dream of mine to di­rect. The show is pow­er­ful, dra­matic and has such great mo­ments for au­di­ences to en­joy.”

The story is told pri­mar­ily through the eyes of a farmer, John Proc­tor, who suf­fers from the down­fall of his com­mu­nity af­ter sev­eral young girls at­tempt to con­jure spir­its in the woods. When caught, the girls ac­cuse other in­hab­i­tants of Salem of prac­tic­ing witchcraft. Soon their child­ish fin­ger-point­ing spi­rals i nto mass hys­te­ria wherein ev­ery­one is a po­ten­tial witch, lead­ing to a cy­cle of dis­trust, ac­cu­sa­tion, ar­rest and ul­ti­mately con­vic­tion.

“The story of a com­mu­nity — pas­tors, farm­ers, lawyers and fam­i­lies — all lean­ing into their worst selves through para­noia and ac­cu­sa­tion is a pow­er­ful mes­sage for today,” Watts says.

“While this pro­duc­tion is apo­lit­i­cal, I think it’s fair to say that in our cur­rent po­lit­i­cal cli­mate ev­ery­one, re­gard­less of back­ground, has de­vel­oped a sense of fear from those they dis­agree with. Miller is def­i­nitely us­ing both in­stances of the witch tri­als and McCarthy­ism to warn au­di­ences of the cost of such fears and hys­te­ria.”

Watts adds that the pro­duc­tion will be per­formed in “Al­ley stag­ing.”

“We’ve thrown away the idea of per­form­ing the show in a typ­i­cal prosce­nium- style fash­ion,” he said. “The show will be per­formed in a trans­verse stage style known as Al­ley stag­ing. This is the first at­tempt at this unique stag­ing strat­egy from Back Al­ley in an at­tempt to truly show the depth, hys­te­ria, and para­noia based in ‘The Cru­cible.’”

Kashun Parks as Ti­tuba.

Alex Walker as John Proc­tor and Alyssa White­sell as the dan­ger­ous Abi­gail Wil­liams, who se­duces Proc­tor and sets out on a de­struc­tive path of ma­nip­u­la­tion and lies.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTOS

Lan­don Car­pen­ter plays Rev. Hale, who ar­rives in Salem to try and save its spir­i­tu­al­ity from dy­ing dur­ing the witch tri­als.

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